Student Devastated After Halls Of Residence Throw Away All Her Stuff
A student who moved out of her halls of residence due to the coronavirus returned to find all her belongings had been binned.
Hannah Mullins and two other students at the University of Brighton made appointments to pick up their belongings after five months away, only to find upon arrival that their stuff had been thrown away.
Devastated Hannah told the BBC she's lost thousands of pounds worth of stuff, plus sentimental items.
Kaplan Student Living Scheme, the company that manages the halls, said the rooms had been cleared 'in error'.
Hannah left her student accommodation and returned to London with nothing but an overnight bag at the start of the pandemic.
Hannah, along with her twin Holly and mum Alexandra, then went to the halls on Thursday but found the room was empty.
They initially assumed that everything had been placed into storage, but when they asked at reception were told to 'check the bins because rooms started being cleared on Monday'.
There they found 'piles of items' including private documents and even passports belonging to other students, but none of Hannah's stuff could be found.
Hannah says she's lost clothes, make up, a professional camera and art supplies as well as private documents, photos, medication and sentimental items.
Speaking to the BBC, Hannah said: "It was distressing, I felt violated. A lot of stuff can be replaced but they can't compensate for the emotional distress they've put me through.
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"It's horrible to think somebody has gone through your stuff without permission.
"It's just wrong."
Hannah says there's no chance of her getting her stuff back now, as the private halls have daily bin collections.
Alexandra added: "It's worrying that somebody could have all her information. We saw other people's documents in that rubbish pile, nothing had been shredded."
The mum also believes that many more students may be affected.
A spokesperson from Kaplan Living Brighton told LADbible: "Since mid-June when lockdown was eased, Kaplan Living Brighton have been working closely with the many students who returned home early before the end of term due to the Covid-19 pandemic in order to arrange for them to come back and collect their belongings.
"We also provided assistance for students to have their belongings collected and put into storage. However, some students who were not planning to return to Brighton, have instead asked for us to dispose of their belongings for them.
"Last week, we became aware that a number of rooms had been cleared in error. We initially believed it to be three rooms and immediately began an investigation of the status of all 450 rooms in the building. We now know that nine rooms in total have been cleared in error.
"We are continuing our investigation into how this could have happened. This should not have occurred and we offer our sincere apologies to the students affected.
"The onsite team have spoken to most of the students affected to apologise. We are still trying to reach several who we have not yet been able to establish contact with. We will of course compensate the students for the loss of items that have been cleared.
"As part of the preparations for students arriving for the new term, rooms are cleared and deep cleaned. We do not dispose of students' belongings without their permission, so clearly there has been an error and again, we offer our sincere apologies to the students affected."
The halls are independent from the University of Brighton but a spokesperson told the BBC it would be 'offering its full support to all affected students'.
Featured Image Credit: Holly Mullins/Facebook
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